The Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant of $40,000 will be awarded to as many as eight writers in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction for a general readership. It is intended for multiyear book projects requiring large amounts of deep and focused research, thinking, and writing at a crucial point mid-process, after significant work has been accomplished but when an extra infusion of support can make a difference in the ultimate shape and quality of the work. The program's chief objective is to foster original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.
Whiting welcomes applications for works of history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, the sciences, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, and personal essays, among other categories. Again, the work should be intended for a general, not academic, reader. Self-help titles and textbooks are not eligible. Examples of the wide range of previous grantees can be found on the program's website.
Projects must be under contract with a US publisher to be eligible, and the fully-executed contract signed by all parties must be uploaded as part of the application. Contracts with self-publishing companies are not eligible. Applicants must be US citizens or residents. (In previous cycles, projects had to be under contract for two years at time of application; recognizing that many projects do not secure publishing contracts until they are nearly complete, we have removed that restriction.)
The deadline for the 2020 grant is April 20, 2020. All materials must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Time on this date; incomplete applications will not be considered. We will, however, accept reference letters until May 4th, although we strongly advise applicants to encourage referees to get these letters in as close to April 20 as possible. All applications will be handled with complete discretion.
A panel of anonymous judges will base their final choices on the excellence of the writing (while understanding that they are reading a work in progress), the import of the subject matter and originality of approach, and financial need, which might vary according to existing support and the requirements of individual projects. The grantees will be announced in the fall.
If you have any questions about the eligibility of your project, or the application process, please contact the Whiting Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.